Home Remedies For Headaches
Take a holistic approach to your headache. Step back and look at the past 24 hours of your life. Have you eaten sensibly? Did you get a decent night's sleep? Have you moved your bowels since waking up this morning? Are there deadlines you need to meet? Do you have added pressures at home or at work? Is there something you're dreading?
Now that you probably realize the reason for your headache, what should you take for it? Don't refuse any offer.
Studies show that more than 90% of headaches are brought on by nervous tension, so most of our remedies are for the common tension headache. Only a few are for the more serious migraines.
WARNING : In the case of regularly recurring headaches, they can be caused by eyestrain, an allergy or something more serious. You should seek professional medical attention, especially if the headache comes on suddenly or is accompanied by a fever.
Natural home remedies
Headaches are such a headache! Use your instincts, common sense and patience to find which one of these remedies works best for you and your headache.
- Research scientists tell us that almonds contain salicylates, the pain-relieving ingredient in aspirin. Eat 15 raw almonds to do the work of one aspirin. While it may take a little longer for the headache to vanish, you won't run the risk of side effects. (What the scientists need to find now are fast-acting almonds.)
- Apply a paste of freshly ground clay or freshly ground sandalwood to the forehead, let dry, rub off by hand and wash.
- Apply a paste of one part ground cinnamon and one part water to the forehead to relieve headaches from cold air.
- Get a little bottle of essence of rosemary and rub a small amount of the oil on your forehead and temples, and also behind your ears. Then inhale the fumes from the open bottle four times. If your headache doesn't disappear within a half-hour, repeat the rubbing and inhaling once more.
- For headaches, eat a banana every time the linger headaches appear.
- B6 or B complex vitamins can prevent headaches or lessen their severity
Relief from the East
- This remedy seems to be a favorite of some Indian gurus. In a small pot, combine 1 teaspoon of dried basil with 1 cup of hot water, and bring it to a boil. Take it off the stove, then add 2 tablespoons of witch hazel. Let it cool, then saturate a washcloth with the mixture, wring it out and apply it to the forehead. Bandage it in place and keep it there until the washcloth dries or your headache disappears, whichever comes first.
- This will either work for you-or it won't. You'll find out quickly and easily. Dunk your hands into water that's as hot as you can stand without scalding yourself. Keep them there for one minute. If you don't start feeling relief within 15 minutes, try another remedy.
- If your tension headache seems to stem from the tightness in your neck, use an electric heating pad or a very warm, wet cloth around your neck. The heat should relax you and improve circulation.
Pass the Mint
- If you have fresh mint, take a large mint leaf, bruise it, then roll it up and stick it in your nostril. (It is not a pretty picture.)
- A Mexican folk remedy says to paste a fresh mint leaf on the part of the head where the pain is most severe.
- In England, the mint leaf is juiced and the juice is used as eardrops to relieve a headache.
Mr. Potato Head
- Grate a potato (a red one if possible) or an apple, and make a poultice out of it. Apply the poultice to your forehead and bandage it in place, keeping it there for at least an hour.
Bite Your Tongue-Really!
- You might want to try some acupressure to get rid of that headache. Stick out your tongue about ½ inch and bite down on it as hard as you can without hurting yourself. Stay that way for exactly 10 minutes-not a minute more!
- Some people rid themselves of headache pain by taking vitamin C-500 mg every hour -to dilate the constricted blood vessels that are thought to cause the pain.
If, after a few hours, you still have a headache, then stop taking vitamin C and try another remedy.
- Add ½ teaspoon of angelica (available at health food stores) to ¾ cup of hot water and drink. It not only helps ease the pain of a headache, but it is said to give a person a lighter, happier feeling.
- In Jamaica, a popular headache remedy uses the leaf of an aloe vera plant. Carefully cut it in half the long way, and place the gel side on your forehead and temples. Keep it in place with a handkerchief or bandage and let it stay there until your headache is gone.
- Niacin capsules have helped many headache sufferers when all else has failed
V Is for Vinegar
- When our grandmother had a headache, she would dip a large white handkerchief in vinegar, wring it out and tie it tightly around her forehead until the headache disappeared.
A variation of soaking a handkerchief in vinegar is to soak a piece of brown grocery-bag paper in vinegar. Shake off the excess liquid and place it on your forehead. Tie it in place and keep it there for at least 30 minutes.
- Peel the rind off a lemon. Make the pieces as wide as possible. Rub the rind (the inside of the skin should touch your skin) on your forehead and temples. Then place the pieces of rind on the forehead and temples, securing them with a scarf or bandage. Keep it there until the headache goes away, usually within a half-hour.
Take a Walk
- Let ice-cold water accumulate in the bathtub until it's ankle-high. Dress warmly except for your bare feet. Take a leisurely stroll in the tub-from one to three minutes-as long as it takes for your feet to start feeling warm in the ice-cold water. When that happens, get out of the tub, dry your feet and go directly to bed. Cover up, relax and within no time, your headache should be a pain of the past.
- Press your thumb against the roof of your mouth for four to five minutes. Every so often, move your thumb to another section of the roof of your mouth. The nerve pressure in your head should be greatly relieved. While this remedy is highly impractical during a speaking engagement, it's worth a try in the privacy of your home.
- Mix a cup of water with a cup of apple cider vinegar and bring it to a slow boil in a mediumsized pot. When the fumes begin to rise, reduce the heat as low as possible. Put a towel over your head and bend over the pot.
Inhale and exhale deeply through your nose about 80 times or for about 10 minutes. Be very careful-steam can burn if you get too close. And make sure you hold the towel so that it catches the vapor for you to inhale, but that it doesn't catch fire.
- If strawberries are in season, eat a few. They contain organic salicylates, which are related to the active ingredients in aspirin.
- Vigorously rub the second joint of each thumb-two minutes on the right hand, two minutes on the left hand-until you've done it five times each, or for 10 minutes. Use hand lotion on the thumbs to eliminate friction.
- A very old American remedy is to swallow a teaspoon of honey mixed with ½ teaspoon of garlic juice.
WARNING: Diabetics and people with honey allergies should not try the honey remedy.
- Enlist the help of someone who will slowly move his/her thumb down the right side of your back, alongside your shoulder blade and toward your waist. Let that person know when he hits a sore or tender spot. Have your helper exert steady pressure on that spot for a minute. This should bring relief from the headache.
CAUTION: See your doctor immediately if your headache is worse or "different" than usual... comes on rapidly and severely...first occurs after age 50.. .and/or is accompanied by neurological symptoms, such as paralysis, slurred speech or loss of consciousness. These symptoms may indicate an aneurysm, brain tumor, stroke or some other serious problem.
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